DIY Southwestern Bench

FIRST, YOU WILL NEED: 

1″ foam 

Quilt Batting 

Fabric 

Hammer and upholstery tacks OR staple gun 

Scissors 

  1. REMOVE THE TOP OF THE BENCH 

First, I removed the top from the bench. Depending on what kind of bench your up-cycling, this may look different. You want to get the benchtop free of the legs or anything obstructing your ability to fabricate the seating area. 

  1. CUT THE FOAM TO SIZE 

I unrolled the 1″ foam and laid it on the top of the wooden seat. Using the scissors, I cut the foam with enough overhang on each side that it would wrap around the edge of the seat. You want to wrap the foam around the edges for a softer, rounder look. 

  1. ADD THE BATTING TO UPHOLSTER BENCH 

The batting helps to hold the foam in place and gives a little shape and cushion to the foam before you add the fabric. I laid out the batting on the floor. Because I had so much, I folded it in half, so it would give a double layer. Then I placed the foam and the top upside down on the batting like shown. 

To attach the batting, I folded it over the sides and tacked it onto the bottom. I started out using a hammer and upholstery tacks. I’ve upholstered several chairs in the past and that’s how I did it before a staple gun. You can do either. Start in the middle of one side and work your way around, pulling the batting tight and making sure the foam wraps around the side. Don’t pull the batting TOO tight…it will rip. If you have some lumps, it’s okay. 

  1. ADD THE FABRIC TO UPHOLSTERED BENCH 

Now, it starts to look more like a benchtop. We’re going with a Southwest design because it adds a talking piece to any seating area. I added the fabric exactly how I added the batting, just pulled it a lot tighter. I laid it out on the floor and set the top on it upside down. pulled the fabric over the edges and tacked them onto the bottom. I pulled the fabric very tight when I tacked it. This helps remove the lumps from the foam and shapes the seat better. You will use A LOT more tacks on the fabric than on the batting. I used my staple gun at this point and pulled everything tight and stapled it until all the lumps were gone. I used A LOT of staples. When I was done, I trimmed the excess. 

Helpful hint: there are lots of ways to handle the corners. For mine, I just pulled tight and folded them over trying to have as few wrinkles as possible. Just play with it until you get it the way you want it then staple the crap out of it. Or google fancy ways to fold the corners, totally up to you. 

  1. ATTACH THE TOP BACK ONTO BENCH 

That’s it! Reattach the bench to its legs and ENJOY!